Thoughts on Historic Preservation, Community, and Design
A building does not have to be an important work of architecture to become a first-rate landmark. Landmarks are not created by architects. They are fashioned by those who encounter them after they are built. The essential feature of a landmark is not its design, but the place it holds in a city’s memory. Compared to the place it occupies in social history, a landmark’s artistic qualities are incidental.
Lucy the Margate Elephant was built by a land speculator in 1881 hoping to attract visitors and property buyers to his land holdings on the New Jersey shore. Over 130 years later, she is a beloved landmark and is still a tourist attraction! “The back of this beautiful postcard from Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1950′s, reads: The only elephant in the world you can go through and come out alive. This famous building was erected in 1885. The elephant contains ten rooms; its interior is visited by thousands.” Image via NextNature